Violett (2022)

(Writer/Director Steven J. Mihaljevich provided Reel Reviews with an unfinished copy of Violett, from Playtime Motion Pictures, for review purposes. There was no grade on the film, no sound mix, no sound design or master and some of the original score was missing. The finished film will be released later in the year.)

Atmospheric and haunting to its final moment, Violett is a ghost story you won’t soon forget. The slow burn of terror which haunts each frame is orchestrated in such a manner that it just oozes poignancy as the truth in a child’s murder takes shape. This is a movie which takes its time with meaning and metaphor, challenging its audience with well-placed warnings as a whodunnit takes an abhorrent turn.

The cast is assembled slowly, like chess pieces moved on a board. But emotion takes its place there, too. There is a choking grief spreading like a fungus in the house where Sonja (a marvelously engaging Georgia Eyers) lives with her husband, Stan (Sam Dudley); her knight in shining armor. But there is silence where there used to be joy.

Something tragic has happened. It is up to us to make the connections. She sees and hears from memories as if it were modern day. This isolates her from a lot of people, including her worried mother as Sonja’s house fills with shadows and memories of her little girl. It seems no one can help here and suspicions fall on everyone. Who is responsible for this heinous crime which plagues this town?

It also makes the world in which she lives in that much harder to navigate. Violett is a movie where fairy tales like Snow White are introduced and take flight, guiding us from the small screen to a much larger one which encompasses the whole of Sonja’s experiences, good and bad. The warning here is that all is not as it seems. Sonja spends her time cooped up in a two-story home where her daughter, Violett (Valentina Blagojevic), still lives and visits with her often. As a child, some questionable things happened concerning her father and these moments, too, add to the cacophony spiraling inside of her skull.

"a disturbing film full of absolute poetry"

Yet, both of Sonja’s worlds come crashing together in an unexpected way. Violence begets violence and the rawness is real throughout this consequential narrative.

With a charged atmosphere - where anything seems possible - and a meditative take on a mother’s sense of loss, Violett is a disturbing film full of absolute poetry as the destructive energy in the character of The Candy Man (Simon Lockwood) rears its ugly head.

Life, in all its beauty, has a mean streak in it and it seems that writer/director Steven J. Mihaljevich (The Xrossing) knows this, weaving it into the spell this movie casts upon its audience. Violette dares us to look away as one mother comes to terms with the murder of her child. As the killer continues his reign of terror, Sonja dares the unspeakable: continue living without her.

Sonja’s mother is worried. Her husband, Stan (Sam Dudley), feels hopelessly adrift in Sonja’s disengaged stare . . . which is constant. She’s hurting, unwilling to let go of the past, and that pain is palpable in this empty house. Yet, her memories, muddied by her modern day activities, suggest otherwise. She still tucks her little girl in at night and still sees her watching Snow White on television. She even paints with her.

But she’s not there. What exactly happened to Violett? The answer is not an easy one to file away. The town Sonja lives in is plagued with missing children. There’s an old lady with a basket full of fruit, a local handyman who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and all those twisted memories of her father killing sheep. The suspects are haunting her every move in the days, weeks, and months following her daughter’s departure.

But the truth? That’s the most shocking aspect of this modern masterpiece of terror. Perhaps William Faulkner said it best in his own writing: The past is never dead. It’s not even past. Violett, from Playtime Motion Pictures, explains why.

5/5 stars

Film Details

Violett (2022)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.

: Steven J. Mihaljevich
Steven J. Mihaljevich
Georgia Eyers; Sam Dudley; Simon Lockwood
: Thriller
What happened to Violett?
Memorable Movie Quote:
Playtime Motion Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:


Violett (2022)